Struggling to engage with your customers? Well, perhaps you could learn a thing or two from supermarkets and, surprisingly, banks, who have been rated the two sectors that most deliver meaningful communications.
According to the GI Insight Customer Intimacy Index, which scores a range of sectors according to their level of customer knowledge, supermarkets are creating the most intimate customer relationships than any other sector with a score of 132 – a six point increase from the 2010 index.
The survey of over 1,000 UK consumers also saw banks rated highly with a score of 125 on the intimacy index – again, improving from the 2010 study by nine points.
Mobile service companies, entertainment providers and smartphone providers also performed well with scores of 116,114 and 111 respectively. Those that fared badly included clothing brands (100), home furnishings/DIY sector (89) and the alcoholic drinks industry (62), the figures showed.
So what’s the secret sauce to meaningful communication with customers? Industries that demonstrated frequent transactions and strong loyalty programmes – giving firms the best opportunity to gather and employ consumer data – were shown to be the most successful at relating to their customers in a relevant way, said the report.
Andy Wood, GI Insight’s MD, commented: “In the face of continuing tough times, it is more important than ever for companies to establish strong relationships with their customers using data gathered from multiple touch points. The latest Customer Intimacy Index suggests that organisations in many sectors are failing to do so and that most are falling especially short of the mark when it comes to older consumers.
“The result is that companies – particularly those operating in new, technology-driven sectors and those that tend to be very youth-oriented such as fashion brands – risk alienating customers who have greater disposable income. The sheer volume of consumers from older demographics means these people remain a key economic engine that brands ignore at their peril.
“Too many companies in too many sectors are simply failing to communicate with all their customers in an informed and tailored manner – especially those with more spending power. They are not finding the right way to gather available customer data and, even when they do, many firms are clearly not using it effectively.”